The state will be spending an additional $900,000 on design work to try to lower the cost of the planned downtown Schenectady intermodal railroad station.
The additional spending was requested by the state Department of Transportation and approved Wednesday by the board of the Capital District Transportation Authority, which is administering the design work’s financing, though DOT is actually overseeing the project.
The money will go to Wendel Duchscherer of Amherst, the architecture and engineering firm that has been developing the plans for the new railroad station for several years. The new contract will bring the firm’s total compensation for developing the station plans to $2.75 million. The money is coming from state rail bond funds.
The DOT made the decision to redesign the station and rebid the project after a bidding process in March resulted in only a single bid for the project, which was $10 million higher than the project budget.
The sole bid was for nearly $25 million, when officials had hoped for a $14.6 million construction budget. DOT officials hope to have more competition among contractors in a second round of bids, and that that will lead to a lower price.
The plan is to replace a deteriorated station used by about 61,000 passengers per year with a building that more resembles the grand 1910 Union station that was torn down in the 1970s.
The construction project will include dismantling the current station and constructing a new station on the same footprint. The work would include repairs to a concrete viaduct that carries the tracks, and there will be a requirement to build a temporary station to operate while the new one is built.